Sometimes repairs on old musical instruments cost more than the value of the instrument. Like cheap printers that come with a printer cartridge and cost less than the replacement cartridges, it makes no financial sense to keep them. That is precisely how the Penticton Academy of Music found itself with sixteen retired musical instruments (14 violins, 1 viola and 1 baritone) on its hands. However, all 16 have been diverted from the landfill; they have undergone “makeovers” at the hands of professional local artists, and are being launched into new lives as works of art.

Most of the artists experienced some initial hesitations at the prospect of tampering with such a beautiful instrument as a violin, but soon got into the spirit of the occasion. “[It was] rather like burning a holy book; I was aghast yet could not pass the opportunity by,” said Johann Wessels. The resulting unique art works are variously whimsical, touching, surprising and beautiful, and can be previewed on the Academy’s blog at www.pentictonacademyofmusic.blogspot.ca or seen “live” throughout Penticton until June 3rd (consult the blog for locations).

These sixteen ENCORE! projects will be sold at a dinner and live auction at Theo’s Restaurant on Tuesday, June 4th beginning at 6:00pm. Live music will be provided by the chamber music group, Cygnus Trio.

Some of the proceeds of the auction will go to the artists, but the lion’s share will help to support music programs at the Academy, which is Penticton’s community music school and a nonprofit charitable organization.

Tickets are $40, and must be purchased in advance from Theo’s Restaurant (687 Main Street, Penticton) or the Penticton Academy of Music office (220 Manor Park Ave, open M-Th 12-5).


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